Committee to certify private labs for swab testing

Nine of them will soon be allowed to start A(H1N1) screening tests
Last Updated 05 September 2009, 17:36 IST

Principal Secretary, State Health Department, I R Perumal said, “A committee consisting of experts will soon be formed in the State to certify these nine private labs”.
The committee will be chaired by Head of Neurovirology, Nimhans Dr V Ravi including Joint Director (Communicable Disease), Dr Cheluvaraj and Director of Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Chest Diseases (RGICD) Dr Shahshidhar Buggi and other private hospital representatives.
Nimhans Lab incharge Dr Ravi said that the certification will be done as per international standards - the lab must have all the facilities of a Bio-safety Level III Lab.

Clinical audit
The State Health department, along with other Government and Private Hospitals will soon start "Clinical Audit" to investigate the medical condition of people who have succumbed to H1N1 Influenza in the State.  The audit will be done based on the case-sheet analysis available at different hospitals to know the actual cause for death.   
Dr Buggi said, “Few have recovered without medication as the virus is self-emitting, few have got cured after antiviral drugs were administered and for some the infection has claimed their lives.  We want to investigate why the virus has become so deadly that people are dying due to H1N1 Influenza," he said.

There have been incidents in Pune where ICU patients were recovered only after Zanamivir (Relenza - second line of antiviral drug) was administered to them, he added.
 Health Secretary Perumal said that the State has 4.17 lakh which is sufficient for now.  
When the drug is available in the market, it will be sold on ‘Schedule X’ prescription where the doctor and the chemist will have keep a record of the prescription.  However the Drug Controller Department and the Health department are still waiting for a written instruction from the Ministry of Health in procuring the antiviral drug ( Tamiflu).

One more dies in Bangalore
A 38-year old woman became the 41st person to succumb to the H1N1 Influenza in a private hospital in Bangalore.  The woman was admitted to the hospital on August 18 and expired on September 4.  Meanwhile 16 fresh cases tested positive for Flu raising the total number of positive patients to 570 in the State.

(Published 05 September 2009, 17:35 IST)

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